When I first joined DiVosta Homes in Florida, they had a rudimentary website. They gathered webleads for their 15 new home communities around Florida via email, through the headquarters office, then sent the lead to the sales center, and the VP of Sales had a policy that a person from each sales center had 24 hours to answer each lead.
It sounded reasonable, for last century policy; but, they got poor results in converting those leads to sales.
If the lead happened on a Friday after 5 p.m., the sales person wouldn’t get the lead until Monday morning, and then had until Tuesday to answer. The prospect was long gone by then.
I came from the Internet world at IBM (wired) and Motorola (wireless). Early on I realized that the web is open 24 hours a day.
When I re-launched the DiVosta brand and website, I made sure leads went right to the sales center 24 hours a day. In addition, a copy came to me.
I gave the sales center 15 minutes to engage the prospect. Not just answer the weblead, but call (first choice if a number was offered) or email and help the prospect immediately. The sales conversion rate went through the roof.
After hours, I personally responded to each weblead telling them that the sales center was closed but I would have a person contact them from the sales center by 9:15 a.m. when it opened. I also asked if they needed anything I could help them with immediately. 99% of the time they said they could wait. I checked at 9:20 to make sure it happened. The reaction we got from customers was amazing.
Imagine how a customer feels when they are still on the Internet and they get a call or email about their request – from a human, anytime day or night. Your brand worth goes way up.
This is important for new home communities AND resales.
I check the sales process for clients now.
You would be shocked that even in this economy, with real estate crashing all around, webleads go unanswered, even though I provide my email, phone number, address, etc..
Recently, I made 30 inquires to web listings, between 2:00 and 3:30 a.m. on a Thursday. I couldn’t believe that 21 did not respond at all. A total of 8 responded via email 1 to 7 days later. There must be plenty of business out there for all those agents not to answer my weblead.
One, yes I said one (1), responded at 3:30 a.m. that same morning and asked if she could call me that morning and when would be a convenient time. She was my last inquiry of the night. Imagine how impressed I was.
No other agent called on the phone at anytime. What?!!!
When a customer provides that much personal information: name, phone number, email, and address… that’s a hot lead and should be treated like one. Needless to say, the agent that contacted me within 15 minutes in the middle of the night got a bonus from her broker. She was both helpful and hungry and it showed.
Technology can help. I wouldn’t suggest an automatic email response. That feels too much like “Customer Care” and humans know when machines answer. It feels fake.
Smart phones and business processes must be in place, and used, so a human can make contact. After all, we’re talking about selling something that costs 6 figures or more. Customers want immediate action.
When you engage fast they feel important. Get those webleads turned into emails or text messages and send them to smart phones! And then get right with the prospect. Your business depends on it.
The sales staff that responds first, many times gets the sale – and even if they don’t, they get a brand reputation that is better than at least 29 others.
Filed under: Lead Generation, agent, communities, DiVosta, e-marketing, leads, marketing, new homes, prospects, real estate, realtor, sales, web marketing, webleads